If there’s one thing Dolphins fans can agree on, it’s that Dolphins fans can’t agree on anything when it comes to what the team should do concerning personnel decisions.
Tuesday marked the deadline for NFL teams to exercise their right to place the franchise tag on players. Several names that have been linked to Miami as possible free-agent targets received their team’s franchise tag. Former Penn State wide receivers Chris Godwin and Allen Robinson were tagged by the Bucs and Bears, respectively. Many Dolphins fans felt they would have been a target for Miami had they hit the market.
But now that all the dust has settled about the franchise tag, let’s take a look at what I feel are three players the Dolphins could have interest in when the free agency starts next week.
Aaron Jones – Running Back – Green Bay Packers – It’s been highly speculated that the Miami Dolphins will be looking to upgrade their running back room for the upcoming season. Aaron Jones would go a long way in doing that, but he won’t come cheap. The running back position, once a marquee position, has been devalued in today’s pass-happy NFL. Jones really took hold of the starting position in Green Bay going into the 2019 season. In those two seasons, Jones has rushed for a combined 2188 yards and 25 touchdowns. He averaged 4.6 and 5.5 yds per carry, respectively. He also chipped in 96 receptions for 829 yards and five scores. What’s maybe more impressive is Jones has put up the aforementioned 3,017 all-purpose yards on just 533 touches. Jones is the epitome of a three-down back. Jones is still young. He will come into the season at 26 years old and won’t turn 27 until December. The Dolphins need to spend their money somewhere, and doing so on Aaron Jones could be a good investment.
?NEW?@DolphinsTalk.com Podcast w/Mike as he goes over the Kenny Golladay and James Conner to Miami rumors. He gives his thoughts on the Isaiah Wilson trade, plus he shares some pre-Free Agency thoughts. https://t.co/83SGJhkU7A— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) March 11, 2021
JuJu Smith-Schuster – Wide Receiver – Pittsburgh Steelers – I know what you’re going to say here, the Dolphins need a receiver with speed, and I agree Dolphins also need good football players, and Smith-Schuster is that. I believe that Miami will address speed through the draft. It’s hard to believe, but Smith-Schuster is still only 24 years old and won’t turn 25 until late November. Miami would be getting an excellent receiver entering into the prime of his career. Let’s not forget that Smith-Schuster put up monster numbers in 2018. 111 catches for 1426 yards and 7 touchdowns. Smith-Schuster has recorded seven or more touchdowns in 3 out of his 4 years in the league, including a career-high nine last season. Speed is great between the ’20s but when space becomes limited down in the red zone, give me a tough slot guy that can make the tough catches.
Mike Hilton – Cornerback – Pittsburgh Steelers – The Miami Dolphins have invested heavily in the defensive backfield over the past several seasons, so doing so again seems redundant. The thing is, Coach Brian Flores loves defensive backs. Hilton could make sense for the Dolphins because he is primarily a slot corner. Last season Hilton played 323 of his 510 snaps in the slot. He also lined up at free safety and cornerback throughout the year. That’s important to note because a cornerstone belief in Coach Flores’ defense is position flexibility. Hilton would provide that. Hilton is 27 years old and played on a 1-year deal last season for $3.2 million, so it can be expected he’ll be looking to increase that for sure. This type of signing would bolster an already excellent unit.
No matter what the Miami Dolphins do next week, it’s a great time to be a fan of this team. The future looks bright, and it’s exciting, and at times annoying, to be brought up in almost every conversation about every free agent. Having a seat at the table is never a bad thing!